The family of Daniel Jiménez still does not believe the official version of his death in the early morning of June 1, 2020. At the age of 38, according to the judges and the Police, he died at the local police station of the National Police of Algeciras (Cádiz ) for hanging after being arrested the previous afternoon for an alleged crime against gender violence. “He comes in alive and comes out dead, under the responsibility of the Police,” says the appeal filed before the Constitutional Court by the legal service of the Association of Gypsy Jurists. The brief tries to refute the judicial file of the case, ratified by the Hearing of Cádiz last July, not so much because of the aforementioned evidence but because of an alleged violation of fundamental rights such as the right to effective judicial protection and the right to use of the means of proof for the defense.
The judge files the investigation into the death of Daniel Jiménez at the police station: “The agents could not predict or prevent the fatal end”
The appeal for amparo also raises a legal issue of great importance such as the duty of diligence in investigation by judges in the event of a violent death in police custody. In this sense, the appeal argues that the instruction “should be even more demanding when the eventual victim is in a situation of vulnerability or, as in this case, in police custody, especially when security requirements such as the existence of of security cameras in the cells “.
Video surveillance requirement
Regarding these “requirements”, the appeal recalls that Instruction 11/2015 of the Secretary of State for Security already required the presence of video surveillance cameras in all cells of the police stations. “In the absence of cameras, which is still a breach and a means of proof less to the detriment of my client, a more demanding instruction should have been carried out, through the procedures proposed by this part,” the appeal indicates. “With total certainty, if a camera had been available inside the cell, the police report and the forensic report would have been sufficient, which are the only evidence provided to the proceedings,” says Gypsy Jurists, who underpins that “in the specific case, with the detainee was not enough surveillance shifts every thirty minutes, as he had a history of self-harm and was also detained for gender violence “.
“It should be the police who demonstrate with all the means at their disposal, given that they do not have the proper recording cameras, that nothing could be done effectively to prevent Daniel’s death, that everything that could be done was done or that they were not the ones who caused his death, “the letter added. This newspaper has already reported on the five “anomalies” that the family had warned about his death and in which, in a certain way, it insists before the high court, commenting that his death took place a few hours after speaking with his father for phone to inform him that he would be released the next morning.
The statement of the policemen, a “basic and necessary” test
According to the police version, Daniel committed suicide by hanging himself with the shreds of a blanket that he tied to one of the vertical bars of the cell. Just four months earlier at the same police station, 23-year-old Moroccan Imad Eraffali also hanged himself with the shreds of a blanket. His case, like Daniel’s, was shelved. Daniel’s family has maintained their conviction from the beginning that it was not suicide. The appearance of a latex glove in the gastric cavity of the deceased during the forensic examination heightened his suspicions.
The investigating judge, as the association recalls, “used the police report, the forensic report -without photographs of the autopsy- and the images of the police station security cameras to base her decision, despite the fact that they show absolutely nothing of what happened inside the cell. ” “He did not consent, for example, to such basic and necessary evidence as the taking of statements from the police officers who were guarding Daniel, nor from the other detainees who were in the police station at the time of the events, nor from the forensic doctor.”
The lawyer for the Gypsy Jurists legal service, Teresa Heredia, who takes over from Manuel Reyes after joining the judiciary in Seville, understands that “a death like Daniel’s, while in police custody, is always an anomaly that must be investigated more rigorously on the part of the judges, until all reasonable means of proof have been exhausted, even more so considering that the Algeciras police station does not have cameras inside the cells, as required by the Instruction of the Secretary of State for Security”. This circumstance, the absence of cameras, produces a situation of greater vulnerability and lack of protection for the detainee, who is deprived of his most effective means of evidence, which is why the proceedings denied, by the Investigating Court first and the Provincial Court later , they were more than pertinent and more than necessary.
The lawyer from Almería relies on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, which supports the reversal of the burden of proof in cases of violence in police custody, to request the Constitutional Court to restore the right to effective judicial protection and that allow the proceedings requested to be carried out to investigate the facts denounced and finally know what happened that fateful night in June so that Daniel Jiménez lost his life.